Thu, Apr 24, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Control Yuan to look into beach erosion and wharf

PROTEST Kungliao township residents presented a petition urging a probe into the ongoing construction of a wharf for the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Anti-nuclear activists from Taipei County's Kungliao township stage a demonstration in front of the Executive Yuan yesterday to protest construction of a wharf for the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant. The construction project has been blamed for erosion of nearby beaches.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

The Cabinet's decision to continue the construction of a wharf being built for the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant led to a protest yesterday by antinuclear activists and people living near the plant site.

The protesters also presented a petition to the Control Yuan.

Control Yuan members Leu Hsi-muh (呂溪木) and Ma Yi-kung (馬以工) received the petition letter from residents of Taipei County's Kungliao township, the site of the controversial plant.

The petition urges the Control Yuan to investigate Cabinet agencies and other government departments -- including the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), Atomic Energy Council and Taiwan Power Company (Tai-power) -- for ignoring their duties.

Township residents told Control Yuan members yesterday that the construction of the wharf had caused not only the loss of 3km of Fulung Beach but it was having a a negative impact on the ecological systems of nearby coastal areas.

Residents complained that the EPA was avoiding tackling environmental problems caused by what they described as an unsound Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the plant done by the Atomic Energy Council in 1991, long before the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (環境影響評估法) came into effect in 1994.

"What a benefit to being governmental officials. None of them has to take responsibility for mistakes they have made," said Wu Wen-tung (吳文通), spokesman for the Kungliao-based Yenliao Anti-Nuclear Self-Help Association.

Before sending the petition letter to the Control Yuan, protestors demonstrated in front of the Executive Yuan, expressing their disappointment at the recent investigation conducted by a task force established in January under the command of Premier Yu Shyi-kun.

Protestors said that the investigation was a perfunctory probe by the Cabinet.

The task force, composed of experts and officials from Cabinet-level agencies, concluded early this month that the beach erosion could be attributed to stress on the environment caused by construction of the wharf, which was built to facilitate construction of the plant.

However, ministers without portfolio Lin Sheng-feng (林盛豐) and Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮), who are in charge of the investigation, did not demand an immediate halt to the wharf's construction.

Instead they asked Taipower to be responsible for the damage.

DPP legislators Eugene Jao (趙永清), Chen Chao-lung (陳朝龍), and Chou Ya-shu (周雅淑) said that the Cabinet's investigation failed to attribute the beach erosion to the EIA, adding that Control Yuan should censure officials who were in charge.

"We will soon demand the investigation report conducted by the Executive Yuan on the issue and carry out field trips to the beach," Control Yuan member Leu said.

A dozen Kunaliao residents were allowed to enter the Executive Yuan yesterday to discuss the issue with officials.

However, the delegation was disappointed by the absence of high-ranking officials.

"We can't accept the insincere way the Cabinet treats us," Wu said.

Premier Yu met with same protestors in mid-January, stressing the Cabinet's investigation would come up with a way to solve problems related to coastal erosion.

Tu Yueh-yuan (杜悅元), director of Taipower's environmental protection department, said that the company would like to complete the construction of the wharf.

"We now can only do things by following the Cabinet's opinions," Tu said.

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